The problem with plastic kitchenware is that is looks so...plastic. So while three-year-old Danish design brand Room Copenhagen wanted to make its latest kitchen collection out of durable materials, they also wanted to give it a handmade feel. They picked Ole Jensen.
"I am a ceramicist," says Jensen. So even though the Ole Jensen for Room Copenhagen collection includes melamine storage, cooking, and serving products, the designer spent months making hand-drawn and hand-thrown "claysketches" on the wheel at a 1:1 scale, testing function and expression, making tweaks and, later, adjustments in relation to the tools of production.
Jensen, who says he "works as a craftsman in a pretty analog way," asked himself questions about each piece in connection to the human body: how each would be gripped, poured, whisked, stacked. While hand shaping and hand-painting these models, he composed the collection not just by shape but through color, plucking hues from his own garden.
Finally, engineer Jens Knudstup Trolle scanned and digitized each clay model, working closely with Jensen to translate the handmade expression to the final industrial pieces. "Instead of a single ‘style’ for the different functions," Jensen says, "I like very much if the items can be different relative to one another—more like mobile creatures than architecture in table format."